Saffron parties ‘harass, extort’ Kashmir mutton dealers outside valley

Srinagar: Accusing Saffron parties of harassment and extortion, All Kashmir Wholesale Mutton Dealers Association on Tuesday said that the animal rights activists backed by Union Minister Menaka Gandhi are blocking the movement of their mutton laden trucks at various check posts from Delhi to Jammu.

Addressing a hurriedly called press conference here, the chairman of the Association, Maznoor Ahmad Kanoon, said the Hindu groups and animal rights activists have imposed “illegal tax” on Kashmiri mutton dealers at Pathankot, Ambala and also at Lakhanpore in Jammu.

“They, the hooligans, charge us in the name of animal tax. We are being harassed and those who refuse to pay are thrashed,” he said, and alleged that local administration completely supports these elements. He alleged that the police in Punjab “even accompany” these hooligans who harass and extort Kashmiri mutton dealers.

During the press conference, the other members of the mutton dealers were also present. Besides, the members of Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA) were also present on the occasion. The KEA also expressed concern over the “harassment” of Kashmiri mutton dealers and warned government of consequences if it fails to resolve the issue.

Abdul Rashid, who supplies the mutton from Delhi, said the harassment and extortion is going on from last three years. “We are being punished for consuming mutton,” he said. Rashid said that prior to Eid, the hooligans stopped hundreds of mutton laden trucks of Kashmiri dealers at Pathankot. “The blockade led to the deaths of hundreds of cattle and we faced losses worth lakhs,” he said. “Some State Minister intervened and we were able to free our trucks,” he added.

The mutton dealers and KEA alleged that Saffron parties are conspiring against Kashmir trade and economy and they want to make people of valley dependent on Delhi for even small things. 



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